Johannesburg - The Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) on Sunday called for an open vote during the National Assembly debate on a motion of no confidence in President Jacob Zuma on August 8.
"While we concur with the ruling of the Constitutional Court that it is the prerogative of the Speaker of the National Assembly to determine whether the vote in the upcoming no confidence motion should be open or secret, it is our firm belief that it should be an open vote," MKMVA president Kebby Maphatsoe said.
"Our opposition to a secret vote is premised on our conviction that elected representatives should not be allowed to vote in secret. There have been disingenuous and deliberate attempts by the opposition to the ANC (both inside and outside of parliament) to confuse the secret vote that citizens are entitled to during elections with the vote of elected representatives," he said.
While citizens were entitled to a secret vote because they spoke only for themselves and therefore their votes "are no one’s business, elected representatives speak for voters and thus their votes are indeed everyone’s business".
Furthermore, the ANC members deployed as MPs in the National Assembly "do not find themselves there on their own volition as individuals". They were in the National Assembly as members of the ANC, who had to carry out ANC decisions and policies, Maphatsoe said.
The MKMVA was confident that regardless of whether the motion of no-confidence would be by open or secret vote, it would be "decisively defeated". "The opposition parties have tabled seven similar spurious no confidence motions and they made absolutely no headway – it will be no different this time round," he said.